In each installment of Hotel Report, I profile a hotel that I’ve personally enjoyed and think you’ll enjoy too. Here, you’ll find the need-to-know info, insider tips and photos that’ll help you have a perfect stay of your own.
REASONS TO STAY
You’re visiting Los Angeles and want to stay someplace memorable, private, yet centrally located to the best the city has to offer.
You’re a LA local looking for the perfect spot to take a staycation. This is how I end up here. On my birthday my girlfriend surprised me by telling me to pack an overnight bag, then lead me a few blocks down the street from my apartment to The Charlie. Trust me, even if you live nearby, it’ll feel like your on a real vacation.
Hidden on a quiet residential street in Los Angeles’ trendy West Hollywood neighborhood.
If you’re looking for a private place to hide away without having to leave the heart of Los Angeles, The Charlie is for you. Built in 1924, The Charlie is a way-under-the-radar collection of English cottages that together hold 13 entirely unique units.
Named after Charlie Chaplin, who owned the property and whose original cottage can be yours by the night, The Charlie boasts some impressive Hollywood history. A cottage once frequented by Marilynn Monroe is on offer, and screen legends and rumored guests like Bette Davis, Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich all have namesake rooms.
The Charlie isn’t your typical hotel. There’s no lobby, bar, restaurant, room service or pool. Their absence, however, is what makes The Charlie feel more like a private home or apartment rental than a hotel.
From mid morning to about 5pm, there’s only one staff member on the property. Afterwards there’s an off-site manager on call.
The key to a successful stay: pretend you live here! Don’t be afraid to show up with a grocery bag full of essentials like coffee, alcohol and snacks to stock your kitchen with.
Also, if you’re an LA local on a staycation, or on vacation but have friends in LA, reserve a room with a private patio or rooftop terrace and host a low-key cocktail and dinner party (that’s what we did).
The Best Room
While every single room at The Charlie has special charm, and the property lends itself to privacy, some rooms are still more private and memorable than others.
For optimal privacy and quiet, opt for a room away from the street and front gate.
The Gregory, a secluded and spacious one bedroom apartment tucked at the far back corner of the property with a private patio is a good choice. Past guests include my girlfriend and I, as well as Gregory Peck, who is rumored to have stayed and written in the space during his Hollywood heyday (see photos of the Gregory below).
Have a bigger budget? Go for the Gloria or the Clark. Each features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private rooftop sundeck.
Weekend rates at The Charlie vary based on how far in advanced you book, the season, and the room type. Book well in advance and you can get a room for between $225 (for a Queen Studio) and $650 (for a Deluxe King Two Bedroom) per night.
HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME
For breakfast, check out Croft Alley, a tiny restaurant hidden behind Alfred Coffee with the softest scrambled eggs and tastiest turkey sausage you’ll ever have. If your room back at The Charlie has a full kitchen and private patio or terrace, gather farm fresh eggs, vegetables, fruit and gourmet bacon from the farm stands and head back to make breakfast for yourself. There’ll be pans, knives, plates and other utensils in the cabinets, but come prepared with olive oil (we had to buy a small bottle for $15 at the farmers market) and something to drink (champagne will do).
When it comes to lunch, dinner and shopping, staying occupied won’t be hard — after all, The Charlie is smack in the middle of LAs “it”neighborhood.
For dinner, walk two blocks south to Ink on Melrose Avenue, then head four blocks west to the show-stopping rooftop bar at La Cienega Boulevard’s E.P & & L.P. (warning, there’ll likely be a line on weekends).
When it comes to shopping, the shops on Melrose never end. And just south of Melrose on La Cienega, be sure to swing by both RTH Shop locations (located a few doors apart from one and other) and Opening Ceremony.